As a college student, I am genuinely surprised that the editor and publisher of The Jewish Week could seem so out of touch with my generation’s reality. At Dartmouth, a campus with fewer Jewish students than most, Chabad exists as an unparalleled place of spirituality, education, tradition and community.
In his article, “Back Off On The Bacchanalia” (April 1), Gary Rosenblatt claims that Chabad lures in students with the promise of alcohol rather than Judaism. Campus Chabad houses do not aim to draw a crowd of drunken 20-year-olds; rather, Chabad provides a forum in which Jewish students of all backgrounds feel comfortable and eager to increase their involvement in Jewish life. Chabad at Dartmouth offers countless classes and discussion groups, including Sinai Scholars — a course that effectively connects our contemporary student lifestyles with our Jewish traditions.
Chabad reaches out to Jewish students on campus through traditions of Shabbat, holidays, and community events. Chabad on campus functions not only through the unyielding dedication of the rabbi and his family, but more importantly through the enthusiasm and commitment of the students themselves. As president of Chabad at Dartmouth, I can readily attest to the significance of being involved in this outlet of Judaism.
Chabad houses on college campuses throughout the country do not use alcohol to attract Jewish students to events.
On a Friday night at Dartmouth, you will find me in a house crowded with students, at Rabbi Gray’s Shabbat table. And here’s the big shocker for Rosenblatt: it is never the Kiddush wine that brings countless students to that table. Rather, it is Chabad itself — a place of student involvement and genuine Jewish enrichment.